Imagine waking up one morning, discovering the meal you had planned to cook that day for a house full of guests had gone bad and all the stores were closed.
That’s exactly what happened to Queen’s Park resident Lori-ann England on Dec. 25, when she discovered the turkey she’d bought for Christmas dinner had gone bad and wasn’t fit for consumption.
“We had 29 people coming for dinner. I said to my husband, ‘Let’s cook it early so the kitchen isn’t a mess.’ We brought it out, opened it up and went, ‘Whoa, no, that is going in the compost right now.’ It was rancid,” she said. “It’s Christmas – what are we going to do?”
England’s son and husband quickly ventured out to see if any grocery stores were open, knowing full well they were closed for the holiday. She made some frantic calls to family members, including her sister Darlene Engelquist, whose husband Les was in the process of texting the owner of Queen’s Park Meat and Deli to say Merry Christmas and mentioned his sister-in-law’s turkey troubles.
“He said I can come in and get you one. Then he was going to deliver it too,” said England, who lives in the neighbourhood and picked it up. “We were going to give him a $100 tip. He said, ‘Nope, don’t want it.’”
England often cooks a ham and a turkey for Christmas, but she only had a turkey on hand for the recent feast and had no idea what she was going to serve to her guests. While a new year has dawned, she’s still grateful for the “Christmas miracle” provided in the form of a 24-pound turkey from Queen’s Park Meat and Deli.
“We are now shopping at the Queen’s Park Meat Market,” she told the Record. “I told all my friends on Facebook, ‘Go to him.’”
The business, located at 402 Second St. for generations, has been owned and operated by Florin Mezo since 2016.
“It’s phenomenal. The people are phenomenal. The service is phenomenal,” said Darlene Engelquist, a regular at the shop. “It’s top notch.”